A new version of a stripped-back Windows 10 installation has been made available, and it might be suitable for those running low-powered PCs who couldn’t otherwise get the OS on their computer.
Apparently this will be the final incarnation of Tiny10, which is being shelved in favor of the recently launched Tiny11, the latter being the same idea – a tiny installation of Windows 11 (hence the name).
If you have a truly old computer, some good news: tiny10 2303 x86 is now available! This new release is mainly aimed at bringing the functionality of tiny10 in line with that of tiny11 in one main area: serviceability. pic.twitter.com/IeAXDGplRDMarch 11, 2023
What these products consist of is a modified Windows ISO with a whole load of bloat removed, keeping just the core essentials of Microsoft’s operating system, with all that streamlining meaning it can run on a lesser spec PC as mentioned. Indeed, Tiny10 has been designed to work on a “truly old computer” according to the developer, officially requiring only 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
The new version, taking its final bow as the curtain falls on it for good, makes some useful changes to Tiny10.
That includes the introduction of a fully functional Windows Defender (now Microsoft Defender) as built-in protection from malware, saving you from having to go to the trouble of installing a third-party antivirus.
The developer also notes that the component store is back, allowing for updating Tiny10, and the remote desktop is now in the mix with the OS.
Analysis: How low can you go?
If you want to get an idea of how resource-friendly these pared-down Windows installations are, bear in mind that Tiny11 has been run on a Raspberry Pi 4. Granted, performance was very sluggish in many respects, but the OS worked on the compact board of a computer.
As a side note, Tiny11 can be booted on as little as a fifth of a Gigabyte of system memory – although in that case, it’s not remotely usable. But it’s clearly remarkable that the OS can even reach the desktop with such a minuscule amount of RAM available to meet its demands.
Doubtless you get the idea, then, and Tiny10 will surely work on very old PCs that otherwise wouldn’t be up to scratch for running Windows 10. It’ll likely work fine on a rig with only 1GB of memory, perhaps even less.
Just bear in mind that as ever with any kind of modified installation file, you can’t be sure exactly what tinkering has been done, so proceed with a healthy amount of caution with projects like this. That said, the developer seems trustworthy enough, and has had these ISOs out for a couple of years now with no complaints.
Note that you need a valid Windows 10 key to run Tiny10 – it’s still a Windows 10 installation, after all, just a heavily modified one capable of providing new options to very old PCs.
Via Tom’s Hardware
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).